Wouldn’t it be nice if success came by luck and happenstance? It would be nice to just wake up and realize you have become super-wealthy and all of your financial needs are met. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. There are some ancient laws, most of them obvious, that must be engaged in other to stand a chance in this brutally competitive world.
Sure, there is a place for luck, and you don’t need to look far to find people that have had lady luck smile on them. But more often than not, you make your own luck through certain conscious decisions to stay ahead of the curve. A close look at the lives of some of the world’s most successful people would further reinforce the truth that to be effective and successful, you have to work towards it. To make money and sustain it, you must learn to grow wealth.
No two scenarios are identical, and while it is true there is no magic formula to success, there are certain principles that must be if you’d stand any chance to rise to the top.
1. Delayed Gratification Has No Substitute
One common denominator among all successful people is their focus on the future. This ability to defer pleasure in other to save or invest is a cardinal law for all who want to succeed in the long term. There is so much luxury available, and interestingly, there will always be. Blowing up your monthly earnings without recourse to savings, investments or planning is a recipe for financial disaster.
So, its no surprise some of the world’s smartest investors have mastered the art of delayed gratification. Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, is known for his frugality. He still lives in the house he acquired for $31,500 in 1958 in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. He doesn’t own any luxury car and avoids excessive spending.
Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim so imbibed the shrewd lifestyle to the point that he still buys his clothes off the discount rack himself though he is worth over $70 billion.
2. Be Persistent
You have probably heard that persistence wears down resistance and that is true in every sense. Every successful person will tell you for free that you’d not get far in life if you quit at every obstacle. The great actor Jim Carey was rejected in 1980 when he auditioned for Saturday Night Live, his first stand up gig ended in him being booed off the stage. That’s enough reason to quit, and you can be sure there are a lot of people who have never gotten back on stage again after being booed. Imagine if they all stayed on the course.
Author of the Harry Potter series J.K. Rowling conceived and wrote the manuscript under less than ideal circumstances. She was jobless, Her marriage ended while in the middle of the writing, she was left with her child with no support, and had to live off government-assisted welfare. Her manuscript was rejected by 12 major publishers. Her sheer persistence in the midst of personal turmoil paid off in the end. Today, she has sold more than 400 million copies and is worth more than a billion dollars.
3. You Must Be Committed To Learning Everyday
Some of the most successful people you will meet have an insatiable desire to learn and improve themselves. You’d be foolish to think learning ends with conventional schooling and education. Legendary investor and billionaire businessman Warren Buffet reads an astonishing 500 pages per day. This commitment to learning and voracious appetite for knowledge has kept him at the forefront of his contemporaries and serves him well in making informed decisions.
While the natural thing would be to focus on keeping yourself abreast of happenings in your field, these men have built up libraries that contain books from all walks of life. And that must be for a reason. The world has been so interconnected hence the need to garner basic information about a lot of things. While no one expects you to be the jack of all trades, it will benefit you massively if you know a little about many things.
Buffet is of the opinion that you treat yourself as a product and your career as a business. Whether as an entrepreneur or an employee, a commitment to self-improvement is never a wasted investment.
4. Imbibe Discipline
Probably the biggest life hack there is. Successful men stick to routines, have a planned schedule, and have a tremendous innate ability to self-govern and self-regulate themselves. The level of discipline required to wake up early, be punctual, manage tight budgets, set goals, and follow through on them is non-negotiable.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla often narrates how he allotted himself a food allowance of just one dollar a day when he was building his business. He did this not because he couldn’t afford more at the time, but so he could bring himself to a point where he could survive with next to nothing, just in case he had a big financial set back on his way.
The famous author Stephen King who has over 55 books to his credit and is worth over $400 million, ensures he writes a minimum of ten pages a day, without fail, even on his birthday and public holidays. He has stuck to this routine for four decades and often shuts himself off phones, emails, and the internet until he meets his personal daily writing targets. Such is the grit required to succeed at the elite level.
5. Make Friends, Build Networks, Form Partnerships
It will be practically impossible to get anywhere in life without people, not just people, but the right kind of people. One of the world’s wealthiest people Bill Gates recounts how he leveraged on personal relationships to strike the DOS contract with his then-nascent company Microsoft.
Growing social capital and building networks with people will do three major things for you – give you access to valuable private information, grant you access to diverse skill sets, and give you power. The power of people is slowly getting de-emphasized in today’s digital world, but high flyers know that access to the right people is gold.
Much of the great success stories out of silicon valley is hinged on friendships and partnerships that have helped grow some of the world’s biggest tech brands.